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Aug 15, 2012 9:31 AM by Claire Anderson - MTN News

Montana family finds camel spider in yard

GREAT FALLS - Taigen Payne of Great Falls discovered something rather surprising under a flower pot in his front yard recently: a camel spider.

Payne recalled, "There was a big storm and I was moving my flowers out of the porch and that's when I seen him crawling real slow across the pavement and it was pretty exciting, I've never seen anything like that."

Despite their ferocious appearance and contrary to urban legend, camel spiders are not venomous, although they can inflict a painful bite.

Although not often seen, there is a species of camel spider that is actually native to Montana, and on the semi-rare occasion that they are seen, it's usually east of the Continental Divide.

They can be found under rocks and tend to become more active as the weather heats up.

Ian Foley, an entomologist at Montana Department of Agriculture, noted, "People don't usually like to find them in their homes, but they are a beneficial predator that eat other insects and arthropods. So they are not really a pest, then, other than being a nuisance or being very scary looking."

Taigen's spider was about two inches long from the front legs to the back, and is about 1 1/2 inches wide.

Click here to read more, see additional photos, and watch the video.

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